3 Tips for staying focused at work

how to stay focused at workWhen I was growing up, multitasking was the thing to do. If you weren't multitasking, then you were a lazy time waster. Then somewhere along the line multitasking stopped being the way. Mindfulness became the way. Multitasking can make can make you frazzled and distracted, whereas mindfulness helps you focus and get more done in the long and short run. That's good and well, but I'm a mother and sometimes the only way to keep both of my kids alive and well is to multitask. I never knew I could do so many things at once until I became a mom. I once went shopping for groceries while breastfeeding one child in a baby carrier and keeping an eye on my older child to make sure she didn't take off into the supermarket wilderness. Good times indeed, but when I am in work mode and not mami mode, I really find that multitasking does more harm than good.

So darlin's I've got advise on how to keep us focused at work.


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This wisdom comes from Dr. Romie Mushtaqi, a mind-body medicine physician and neurologist, who says:

Practicing mindfulness has been shown to alter the structure and function of the brain, which is what allows us to learn, acquire new abilities, and improve memory. Multitasking, on the other hand, depresses the brain's memory and analytical functions, and it reduces blood flow to the part of the right temporal lobe, which contributes to our creative thinking.

Here are three basic tips to help you stay focused on the job:

1. Do one thing at a time. Break up your day into tasks. For example, answer e-mails for a certain amount of time and then move on to the next task. Don't let additional e-mails that pop up distract you from what you are doing. Or if someone asks you for help, tell them you will help as soon as you are done with what it is you are doing.

2. Move to get un-stuck. If you find yourself trying to do a task, but for some reason you can't move forward with it. Take a moment to move physically. Get up, go for a short walk, listen to music that makes you feel better. Doing something pleasant for your senses does wonders to get your creative juices flowing.

3. Ask for help. If asking for help makes you feel weak, then think of it as delegating. If you are lucky enough to work with a team, then reach out for help when you need it.

See? Very simple. I've implemented much of these strategies into my work day and I find that I end up working better and faster. When I forget to focus, I end up wasting so much time and my work day feels never ending.

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Topics: career  stress  focus